Posts Tagged ‘ learning to talk ’

Dad Speaks To 2-Year-Old Son On 12th Grade Reading Level

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

2 years.

Dear Jack,

I just never could bring myself to talk to you like you were a baby, even when you actually were a baby.

The closest I ever came was back when you were 7 months old, when one of my ongoing bits with you was to say, ”Ya wanna give ya Daddy-Waddy a kissy-wissy on da wippy-wippy-wippies?”

Basically, I was trying to playfully annoy you by puckering up real big and acting like I was about to kiss you on the lips.

But clearly, I was mocking the concept of “talking baby talk” to you. To actually talk to you the way I was supposed to, all cutesy… just the thought of it somehow made me feel phony.

So since the very beginning, I’ve always spoken to you like an adult. And really, so has Mommy.

You’re 2 years old now and we haven’t changed the way we speak to you. But you, on the other hand, definitely have changed the way you communicate with us.

You are now regularly speaking in 5 word sentences. I know that you grasp a good majority of what I tell you, even if you still haven’t figured out the meaning of the phrase, “I don’t know.”

(Right now, your version of “I don’t know” is just to simply look down at whatever Thomas the Train toy is in your hand until I change the subject.)

The main reason I love the fact you can understand what I say now is because I can more efficiently give you realistic expectations, which helps prevent surprising disappointments.

For example, when it’s nearing time for Nonna and Papa to go back home after a weekend of staying with us, I look you in the eyes and map out the plan so that you are not ambushed and consumed with anxiety a couple of hours later:

“Listen, Jack. I want you to know what to expect. After we eat lunch, it’s going to be time for Nonna and Papa to go back home. So make the most of this time because it will be a few more weeks before you will see them again.”

I am not worried about saying words that are too big for you to understand, because at this point, that would include a lot of words.

For what it’s worth, you can now say the name of Mommy’s home state: “California.” You pull it off quite well.

The way I see it, my use of words beyond your comprehension level (and/or reading level) is a good thing.

Besides, you’re used to it by now: You have a Daddy who has an English degree and a job in writing. For all practical purposes, I’m Ross Geller.

I have a feeling you are going to be one articulate little boy. Can you say “articulate?”

No, seriously… can you?





Add a Comment

Stuff My 23 Month-Old Toddler Son Says

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

23 months.

Makeshift sentences are a new discovery.

Gone are the days of simple exclamations like “Mine!” and “More! More!”

My son is now finding a way to utilize his favorite dozen or so words in basically any and every situation.

Ultimately, according to Jack, things are either sleepy, sad, biting, or crashing.

Yesterday morning it was “Ahh! Train bite!”

I turned around to see him in his car seat, sticking his finger in Percy the Train’s face.

(Thanks to Jack’s on-again/off-again biting bouts with his friend Sophie, he knows the word “bite” pretty well.)

And if he can’t evoke fake sympathy from me in an attempt to pretend a human being bit him, he figures a Thomas & Friends metal die-cast train is just as capable of biting him instead.

“Oh no! Crash!”

That’s what I hear on a daily basis from the back seat when we’re driving home from daycare. I’ll look up in the distance and see a car for sale, parked in someone’s yard.

Apparently, if a car is not on the road, it has crashed, and it worries Jack.

Of course, since he’s obsessed with his toy vehicles, I’m pretty sure he’s more concerned with the well-being of the cars themselves, not the actual people inside of them.

This morning when Jack was helping me check my Facebook, he saw a picture of the daughter of a college friend named Sara Hilton.

The picture was of little Alaina playing in the leaves and it had earned dozens of “likes.”

Jack’s response: “Oh no! Crash!”

My assumption is that because A) he couldn’t really see her legs and B) there were leaves in the air, not on the ground, he thought that Alaina had “crashed” in the leaves.

Obviously, it’s quite a stretch to say that someone crashes when they’re actually playing in the leaves, but for the sake of my son learning how to use the English language, I’ll accept his perception of the event.

This would explain why when Jack’s toys are constantly either sleepy, sad, biting each other, or crashing.

But I know that eventually, more verbs and emotions will come into play. As for now, he has to work with what he’s got.

Add a Comment

Stuff My 15 Month Old Says: Current Top 7

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

15 months.

My son is learning to expand his vocabulary beyond “da-da-da-da” and “mehm-mehm-mehm-mehm” to refer to his parents. Today I would like to share his Top 7 favorite new phrases.

1. Bird? Anytime Jack looks out the window or is outside, he wants confirmation that he is either seeing or at least hearing a bird.

Usually he’s right. And if I never find the bird he is referring to, it probably just means that he has sharper eye sight and better hearing than his dad.

2. Uh-oh! The instant he drops a toy or his cup of Cheerios or the remote control he is playing with, he exclaims a very urgent “uh-oh!”

He hasn’t yet figured out that the phrase can be used for any accident. It’s interesting how the number of times he drops things on a daily basis has dramatically increased since he learned the phrase.

3. Bye-bye. Out of all his newly learned phrases, this is the one that he pronounces the clearest. He likes to tell everyone goodbye; even when he’s leaving somewhere with me. Jack hasn’t quite figured out who “bye-bye” applies to yet.

4. Bah-bah. Not to be confused with “bye-bye,” this phrase is actually Jack’s way of mimicking a donkey. One of his favorite books right now is Smack-Dab in the Middle of God’s Love, which contains several pages with a random donkey on it. My wife and I have both separately made the “eeh-awh!” donkey sound when we’ve read him the book.

By the way, the only reason I know that “bah-bah” is supposed to be a donkey noise is by the tone he uses. It’s an honest attempt on his part.

5. More? Thanks to his daycare, Jack has learned the sign language for “more.” He usually says “more?” to ask for more bananas or wheat bread; foods which he is obsessed with. But he has also been known to ask for “more” playtime when he knows it’s time for bed.

6. Peek-a-boo. Traditionally, playing “peek-a-boo” requires both hands, but Jack decided he can make it work with just one. It’s his way of emphasizing the “peek” part more so than the “boo.” Just imagine a 15 month-old little boy pretending to hide from you while looking you straight in the eyes, from behind one hand, and while smiling real big; as if to say, “I’m pretty clever, huh?”

7. Shoes? While Jack doesn’t know a lot of words yet for physical objects, he does know what his shoes are. Of course, it sounds more like “Zeus” when he sees his mom reaching for his new Velcro sneakers:

He was recently able to convince my parents to buy them for him a few weekends ago when they were in town. And how can grandparents resist when their grandson can say “Zeus?”

I mean, “shoes?”

Let’s see what new stuff he will say at 16 months…

Unexpected Bonus!

My friend, Rebecca Thomas, who I went to Liberty University with, recently got her first book published entitled, Finding My Voice:

“When Rebecca Thomas moved from her home on the island of St. Croix to Florida as a young girl, she entered a different world. One year later when her father was contacted to start a ‘black’ church in South Carolina, Rebecca began a struggle with her identity that would last for the next several years and test her courage and loyalty in ways she never could have imagined.”

If you are the first to both A) leave a comment requesting a copy of her book and B) send me your mailing address to, I’ll arrange for Rebecca mail you a complimentary copy.

Congrats to Tamera of South Carolina for winning the book!

Add a Comment

Dadabase Bonus: October 2011 in Review

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Eleven months.

In this unofficial post (I’ve already published my maximum of 25 posts this month), I am taking a moment amidst the hustle and bustle of Halloween to remember what all has gone on as Jack has turned eleven months old.

1. Our move back into our townhouse was delayed by nearly three weeks, as we discovered the ceiling of our living room had nearly caved in due to a water leak upstairs in the bathroom.

2. Jack learned to stand and walk up to ten steps on his own.

3. Jack has worked hard on adding “yes” to his vocabulary; he’s already pretty good at “no.”

4. We discovered Jack really does look like Boo the Pomeranian.

5. Jack has learned to feed himself by hand.

6. General Motors flew me up to Detroit to visit their facility; much more on that in November!

Thanks for reading The Dadabase this month.

Add a Comment